tv Israeli- Palestinian Conflict CSPAN March 23, 2019 5:24am-7:00am EDT
historians. our leaders, the challenges they faced, the legacies they left behind. presidents" will be on shelves april 23, but you can preorder your copy today at presidents. >> next on the debate on the israeli-palestinian conflict and if the palestinian movement has a right to exist. debated major danny sjurs. hosted by the soho forum. revolutionight's reads to resolve israeli-palestinian conflicts, israel must first
achieve defeat of the palestinian movement. and askou have voted your neighbor for help if you had trouble accessing the app. vote for, against, or undecided on the resolution. please come to the stage. [applause] arguing to the negative, danny sjurs. please come to the stage. please, close the voting. elan: good evening. thank you for inviting me, danny, thank you for joining the debate.
resolution presupposes the detailed analysis of a hugely complicated conflict. that is the analysis that i offer in my book "what justice demands." let me indicate one crucial part to start with. so much of the debate and discussion of the israeli-palestinian conflict is bound in religious, ethnic, nationalist, tribalist premises. nowhere. us i suggest we need to adopt a approach. we need to adopt a secular, individualist, pro-freedom perspective. that is the framework in my book and what i will be arguing tonight. the reason is, and i think you can demonstrate, individual liberty is an objective moral ideal. it is true for all people in all times.at all
i believe that freedom is the standard by which we should evaluate the adversaries in this conflict. this individual perspective i'm arguing for leads us to discard activist and tribalist premises. one of the major steps in this way of thinking is we need to recognize a major distinction as blurred and completely ignored many people. there is a crucial difference between the palestinian community and the palestinian movement. we have to keep these separate and distinct. the community is a group of individuals that recognize themselves as part of the palestinian identity. the movement is an ideological political enterprise with goals ideology. it claims to speak for the palestinian community. true,is overlap, that is
but they cannot be treated as interchangeable. and we have toct keep them distinguished when we think about the issue. this debate hinges on a moral evaluation of the adversaries. does the palestinian movement seek freedom? is it pro-human progress? is it concerned with righting wr ongs done to the palestinian community? no, no, and no. i argue the palestinian movement is hostile to individual liberty. israel is the region's only free society. it has moral failings, really serious ones, and these need to reformed but,nd none of these more the palestinian movement's aggression against it.
thes crucial to see palestinian movement as an obstacle to the fundamental barrier of progress to this region. the debate does not hinge on the question of whether individual palestinians have grievances. they do. some are legitimate grievances and need to be redressed. for example, cases of israeli land expropriation or where police failed to protect landowners who are palestinians from jewish religious and mentalists who attacked -- religious fundamentalists who attacked them. that is wrong. even when you take these moral failings into account, and the grievances i regard as justifyte, they do not liquefying israel.
in reality, the palestinian freedom is hostile to and is not care about righting wrongs against people a claims to serve. if you look at what is the palestinian movement, what is it composed of? there are two wings. wing.o and the islamist both were founded with the shared goal to bringing an and two israeli society and are hostile to rights and individual freedom. they actively in the present day, not in some future state, they are trampling the rights of their own people. the plo runs the palestinian authority, an interim cause a -state.-- quasi is mostly in the west bank.
it is an authoritarian regime. entity,ident of this presidentear term as and did 10 years ago and he is still in power and not leaving. he will appoint the next prime minister. youou try to live there, will realize there is no freedom of speech. no freedom of association. if you criticize the dictator in place, you may be thrown in jail. and got help you if you are christian or gay. you will be hounded our if you make it out alive. moreover it incites its own people to commit atrocities, knife attacks, car rim links, other violent action. they celebrate the perpetrators as martyrs to the cause. the palestinian authority led by
the plo we should note, this is what is considered by many as the moderate wing of the palestinian movement. let's look at what people regard as beyond the pale, hamas. this runs gaza. it took over in a bloody coup in 2007. it injected islamist ideas into the area where it rules and has conducted executions in the street. they have fought rocket wars against israel and many times, and there have been small skirmishes in between. there were two rockets fired from gaza last week towards tel aviv. hamas is notorious for inciting its people to commit suicide bombings and celebrate the acts of destruction against other people. this is not only through the mainstream press of hamas, but through children's programs.
when you look at the palestinian movement, this is a movement hostile to freedom, that does not care about the lives of the people it governs. this is a movement committed to liquidating a free society, a basically free society, and the only free society in the middle east. that is what i suggest and argue in depth in my book. i argue the palestinian movement is hostile to freedom. why it is not concerned with righting wrongs done to palestinians. you can see by the way it is governing and has self-government in gaza and the west bank that the palestinian movement has inflicted its own injustice will stop there is no freedom of speech under its control. minorities are persecuted horribly. religious and other minorities.
, to the extent that they have control of these in the palestinian community, the palestinian movement is not opposed to the kinds of crimes it accuses israel of. it itself is committing these crimes against its own people. i mentioned one notable example, a qatari businessman who came to build out what was beginning to be a new state, the palestinian authority. propertyand personal was taken from him by the palestinian authority in broad daylight. there many examples of this. one thing to know about the palestinian authority, the move dealable argue is
with. under the palestinian authority it is a crime to sell land to jews. this as defined by a people's race. the punishment is hard labor for life. the maximum penalty is death. keep that in mind. let me turn to look at israel briefly. what i want to argue is that you take seriously the value of human life, human progress, and is crucial to recognize a stark moral difference and inequality between israel and palestinian movement. israel stands out as a basically free society, one with many flaws and moral failings. yet, it has freedom of speech. it has religious freedom, allllectual freedom, and
citizens regardless of race or creed have the right to vote and be a part of the government. their will be objections to israel's moral standings, and i anticipate some that it is an ethnic national state and an apartheid state. israel as a combination of individualist elements which is good which leads it to protect individual rights. and national and ethic religious elements which i regard as a problem and source of its failings. we can talk about the apartheid claim, which deserves more attention and i'm but you'd ask me about that. i want to make the case why the main barrier of moving forward to peace is the palestinian movement. extent that the current approach is being tried, the two-state solution, it has led
to empowering the palestinian movement, giving them in the west bank and gaza a militant regime that is hostile to the lives of the people he controls. and retrying the peace process which leaves to that two-state solution will eat the same outcome. it will not change until the ideas animating the palestinian movement change or give up its goal, which is what i advocate. the approach that has been tried has made the conflict worse. more people have died in violence since the signing of the peace process deal by bill clinton in 1993 then the 25 years before. this is a bad attempt to solve a problem. what i'm advocating for instead is that it is a necessary
condition to reach peace that the palestinian movement be defeated. this is because i think what is happening is a protracted war between two sides. wars typically end if you look at history when one side gives , and itsdown its arms goal is unachievable. that is what i'm suggesting needs to happen with the palestinian movement. it needs to lose heart and give up its jihad and its combination of military and political pressure. the influence of the palestinian movement in the west bank and gaza strip needs to be abraded. this is a long-term process and will not happen overnight. the crucial thing is a mind shift. -- the leaders of the palestinian movement needs to abandon the goal of liquidating israel and creating
a society that is an authoritarian one. a major thing that can be done from outside the conflict is us that have influence, particularly the governments in the u.s., canada, and europe, need to withdraw the moral endorsement of the idea that the palestinian state is a goal to be achieved. what we have seen even when it is materialized to a small degree is that it is hostile to freedom and a militarized regime that seeks to undermine israel. withdrawing the moral sanction and financial support that makes it possible i think is critical to reaching the point to which the palestinian movement feels .efeated and gives up its goal thank you, very much. [applause] >> danny sjurs for the negative.
[applause] thank you. my opponent has undoubtedly laid out a passionate, detailed defense of israeli policy over the last half-century. he has highlighted the worst aspects of what he dubs the palestinian movement. were his words and unopposed conflict,on to this the simplicity of the model would be persuaded. as the veteran of two wars in the middle east i found this more nuanced. it is for this reason i must oppose this resolution, along with the black and white thinking that informs its framework. i cannot promise neat models or simple reassuring solutions. rather i propose a middling approach to conflict resolution
that accepts as ginny linda fears for israeli security, but does not dismiss the plight of the palestinians outright. mine is a path of the into the an attempt at even my thinness. the palestinian crisis is a veritable third rail in american political discourse. i speak as someone who is not anti-semitic and opposes anti-cement is him and believes the israeli state has a right to exist. i have to address the controversial caveat. palestinian's for moral and strategic reasons civil rights. that should be the state for all conservatives and my debate upon
tonight. israel is neither state nor palestine.neither is these are fluid societies. they do not operate in a world evil duality. i shall prepar propose three mar arguments.i reject the palestinian movement . this movement is no single thing and is not nearly as simple or jihadi as islamist prefers.s my opponent i shall demonstrate the vast majority of palestinian organizations, even hamas, should be dealt with as potential partners in negotiations.despite the blood spilt they are more willing to make peace along the pre-1967 borders, accept the
two-state solution, and recognize israel's right to exist. israel under its right-wing government has provoked thomas, hamas and broken truces. defeat of the palestinian movement is neither possible nor fairness.n what piece does require is the isolation and condemnation of most terroristic elements of palestinian resistance, but we need to condemn israeli policies .hat also hinder the notion that israel has a role to play in reforming. in the way it has been laid out, the palestinians are evil. their movements are all evil. they cannot be dealt with.i
reject that . i will argue that any solution in the holy land will not be forthcoming unless the israeli government or a successor administration reverses course and militarization and occupation regime and opens its mind and hearts to authentic negotiation with all components of the multifaceted palestinian movement. let's begin with the problematic definition of the palestinian movement. take a moment to read the resolution. that staggering sentence my opponent affirmed. i will break down three main parts. it is clear from the resolution and my opponent's remarks he places israel and israelis at the center of the model. then israel represents everything good juxtaposed with the people arab states of the region. israel and israelis can do no wrong. this is problematic not only
because there are good people and good faith movements in the but because he left israel off the hook for its own flawed policies, human rights abuses. seek to israelis should improve their own societies just as americans. it does not make you un-american or unpatriotic to critique policy. the same applies to israel. you will hear little of that. this is a one-sided tale of good israelis and bad palestinians. you will hear quite little of the somehow absent palestinians from my opponent. the palestinians are almost the elephant in the room no one speak of. there is the term defeat. as a combat soldier and officer conducted fruitless counterinsurgency in iraq and afghanistan, which is remarkably similar to the west bank and gaza, the term defeat has come to seem absurd. highly unrealistic. how can one people, how can one
defeat a people's movement. can one win a true counterinsurgency? i am doubtful. thatis the assumption israel can and should defeat the palestinians. this is fantasy, wishful thinking at best. lastly we returned to the phrase palestinian movement. my opponent believes today's palestinian movement is the enemy. an entity worthy only of destruction. i think when he looks at palestine, palestinians, and their organization he sees isis. are little more than terrorists in this telling, and that is not accurate. beyond wildly inaccurate iit is a dangerous conception. the vast majority of palestinians, like the vast majority of muslims, are not
civilian-slaughtering terrorists. people. a diverse the most highly educated arab people on the planet.there are monsters among them , but this is a small fraction of the beautiful whole. the very framework and the glitch and construction of the resolution is defined, factually inaccurate, unachievable, and one-sided. so much so that on this point alone one should vote down the resolution. the vast majority of palestinian organizations should be dealt with as potential partners in negotiation. nevere in america's ending post 9/11 wars has taught me that often times one must work with, talk to, and compromise with nefarious actors. the u.s. military tried to owning sunni islam nationalism in western iraq for four years with no success.
only when forward thinking colonels and a willing general, david petraeus, began talking to the tribesmen and dividing them from the most extreme elements of the insurgency to the u.s. army achieve a drop in violence. this was a hard pill for us to swallow. courseas no alternative with any hope to lower violence, ultimately protect u.s. soldiers, and bring a semblance of peace than to work with the region.of the and must the same way israel must deal with any palestinian individual and organization that is ready to accept a long-term truce and two state solution because there is no other path to peace. none. the notion that upon the defeat of hamas' leadership that the
palestinians are going to lay and form someup new version of themselves that looks like an israeli zipped up inside of them is fantasy. this will freeze any movement towards peace and birth a generation far more radical than the past palestinian generation. even hamas, the villain of mr. moreo's movement, is far than he gives them credit for. though at times after 1994 it engaged in suicide attacks on israeli civilians, and though its early charter denied the right of israel to exist, even hamas has come a long way. in reality the hamas of 2019 is not the hamas of 1987 and it can be dealt with rather than defeated. it has often meant israel that
has broken truces and provoked israeliuch as the 2004 this came onn o the heels of the state of the hamas could accept a palestinian state in the west bank and gaza strip. that leader had offered a long-term truce in exchange for israeli withdrawal from the occupied territory. this was a shift that should on. been capitalized instead israel turn to violence, refusing to compromise with hamas. in 2006, hamas published a manifesto that lacked reference to the old goal of eliminating israel. another positive change. instead, the u.s. and israel punished hamas and the majority of the palestinian people who voted for them in the gaza strip was that they imposed sanctions and withheld funding.
the new york times, not known for anti-israeli bias, concluded that this was a plan to destabilize the palestinian government so that newly elected hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again. this sounds like a coup. but instead of hamas taking over come it appears to be israel and ae united states overturning democratically sanctioned election. associating the movement with the secular arab states and violence of islamic extremism, my opponent denies legitimacy of the palestinian struggle. i reject the simplicity and factual reality of that assumption. my third and final argument, israel has its own flawed policy. , notl assert that aspect everything, but aspects of the israeli movement must be reversed before peace is possible. among these, a perennial occupation of the west bank and gaza, illegal settlements
regime, and a brutal blockade of the gaza strip, and unacceptably disproportionate lack of concern for palestinian civilian casualties. for historytime lesson, but let me address these grievances. first, it is indisputable that the founding of israel in 1948 and the expansion of israel after 1960 seven created millions of displaced palestinian refugees. why saying this does not mean that israel should get it all back or cease to exist, but rather it recognizes the genuine suffering and grievance of the palestinian people. there are two sides in the argument, minus the side that says they're guilty parties on both sides. there are those we can work with him both sides. 1969 interview with the israeli defense minister where he admitted that we came
to this country, which was populated by arabs, and are establishing a jewish state. jewish villages were built in place of arab villages. you don't know the name of the villages and i don't blame you looks nohe geography longer exist. not only the books, but the air villages are not there either. there is not one place built in this country that did not have a former arab population. the settlements regime, the bottom line is that until israel dismantles its settlements and returns the land it is in violation of international law and impeding peace. the idea that the palestinians will accept any solution while massive numbers of israeli citizens are living in these settlements is fantasy. people are not going to quit. that is not how insurgencies end historically. the brutal blockade of gaza is
enormously cruel. in fact, to demonstrate the cruelty and premeditation of the blockade, let's consider that a prominent israeli governing official took the liberty of calculating the number of calories a person in gazan needed lest there be an out right famine. aides joked that palestinians would undergo something like an appointment with a doctor. they will get thinner, but not die. i would be remiss if i did not recognize the historic crimes against jews and the holocaust. i believereasons israel has the right to exist and be secure. i also believe there is a second side to the conflict. there palestinians with genuine grievances. with leaders that can be negotiated with, and should be negotiated with.
nor cannot be defeated, should they be if there's any sense of equity and fairness. thank you. [applause] you answer the rebuttal. elan: the palestinian movement i said needs to be distinguished from the palestinian people. i guess let me amplify that point. there is no question there are palestinians who have suffered wrongs. they need to have those wrongs redressed. thate focus on the claim the palestinian leadership and movement -- that seems to be the crux of your argument -- the palestinian movement is not monolithic. i said there are two major wings. it is correct to equate it with the islamist movement, but it is
not isis. the islamist movement is large and includes saudi arabia and iran and isis, which both of them dislike. the palestinian movement originated primarily as an ethnic nationalist movement and morphed over many years into what it is now, a primarily religious islamist movement. this is documented in the rise of religiosity in the territories and reflected in the rising fortunes of hamas. to recognizent what hamas' goals are and what they remain. it is true that hamas has issued inuments, manifestoes, the most recent was in 2017 where it issued a policy statement. this was read as hamas'
moderating. hamas has changed in tactical ways. for example, it joined the election in 2006, which it won by a landslide. these are tactical maneuvers it has done. insulated itself from the stench of the muslim and fromod and qatar. hamas has not disavowed it schools of liquidating israel. none of the documents do that when you read them closely. it presents it self in terms oolt are meant to full people into thinking hamas is dealable with.
this is a common principle in diplomacy. it is not true that you can make a deal with anyone. there are factions in hamas that you can deal with them, that is not valid. you can see the evidence. the same argument about the palestinian liberation organization changing its position and accepting israel. it went through hoopster prove itself in 1998. -- hoops to prove itself in 1998. the same thing happened in 1993 when arafat stood on the stage with bill clinton. the palestinian movement did not then and has not repudiated its goal, even though it has moderated his positions to seem more appealing and lure people back to the negotiating table. what happened when this was taken on faith is the palestinian movement was given a
quasi-state which enabled it with money and arms to carry out what was called a war against israel with suicide bombers and other attacks. i think it is important to t the grievances are treated -- they are obviously wrong. there are real wrongs here. im in favor of nuance. it took me a book to argue my point. you are missing some of those, including the settlement which cannot be treated as uniform phenomenon. i'm not in favor of israeli policy and not here to defend it.
i am arguing israelis position of a free society for as long as it is carrying out policies consistent withpolicies that arh that. i do not support policies that are not that, and i oppose many of them in my book. thank you. [applause] gene: thank you. so i have about five minutes to rebuttalsme of the from my opponent, who is very educated on the topic. why is it, and this is hypothetical, israel's state to give the palestinians? the whole framing is problematic.
it is telling that israel has the ability, the right even, to grant what is being called a quasi-state to the palestinians, which is little more than an open-air prison in many ways, little more than a collaborationist regime in many ways. earlierent spoke in his remarks about a proponent of freedom perspective, and i agree that should be the framework, but what about the life of actual living, breathing palestinians in gaza today who lacks civil rights, who lack basic freedoms of even arabs within israel who do not have the same rights of juice within israel but who have lived under occupation 50 years after the war in defiance of every single ruling of any international or, organizational organization. countries in the world are all just anti-semitic and only israel and the united states are correct, or maybe there is something to these grievances, not just for the palestinian people, but for
their movement. i agree that this hinges on a moral interpretation, but a will interpretation again make one wonder why there are no civil and political rights in no united states sovereignty. anopponent says this is obstacle to peace, but what about israeli obstacles, except for a fake notion of "israel is not perfect," from my opponent, there is no idea what they are. i would argue the silence on this issue is more telling than anything my opponent says. i think it is a fallacy that the movement is dedicated to the destruction of israel. two-lo did accept a state solution. even hamas made it clear it was willing to accept a two-state solution from its highest leadership level and that it would accept a long-term truce. the truth of the matter is
israel never made sense for the settlement that oslo was supposed to create. if it was so harmful to palestinians, why did so many vote it in? why did so many turn to hamas? could it be that they were frustrated with the lack of progress in with the palestinian state? every time, not every palestinian leader is a saint, not every israeli leader is a villain, but the reality is there are two sides to the story. what if palestinians vote the wrong way? it appears you either have to believe in democracy or not. israelis is ok for a because we like the way they vote, but what if palestinians democratically elect hamas? who has the right to determine that hamas cannot be dealt with? and i said, in iraq
afghanistan, we dealt with people who literally have the blood of our soldiers on their hands, and it worked. we did not like it one bit. i still don't. we are not going to defeat the iraqi nationalist movement in iraq. we will never defeat militarily those in afghanistan. they are not going to give up and rollover. this is not going to happen. it is ahistorical from a military standpoint. putting down their arms is not how movements end. compromise and politicization of movements is how they end, so these hamas steps are a sign of possibility toward peace. take a look at the irish republican army cured after being told for 30 is that the ira would never, ever settle for peace, they did not just lay down their arms, they were brought into the movement so much so that today members of parliament in britain used to be
ira commanders in northern ireland, but the british swallow their pride and realized that they had to deal with people who have blood on their hands. otherwise they would fight this war for another 1100 years, and that is the reality. do the palestinians have a biological predilection for evil? i think not. some injustice, and some rolled at the israelis are playing on this, i think the silence on the part of israelis to perpetuate violence is instructive. thank you. [applause] gene: thanks to you both we go to the q&a part of the evening. prerogativerators' to ask a couple of questions first, and then of course you can comment as well. you have affirmed your own
support of israel's right to exist. most recently, hamas seems to be ambiguous about that. icu say that hamas' bas document, do they deny israel's right, my particular question is what is your best evidence that hamas has affirmatively stated, as you have stated, that israel has a right to exist? major sjursen: that is a great question. there was another war in 2012 and another war in 2014. the u.s. state department recognized as well as an international terrorist analysis organization in israel, the amas fighters actually showed
fair amount of the acceptance of long-term truce, and it was actually israel that broke the truth, so in all three cases, israel conducted raids into gaza, wrote the truth, in which truce, inoke the which case there were , andhelming casualties many were children. what we can do is look at how hamas acts rather than what is in their founding document. hamas is dealing with radicals in their own right, they are dealing with moderates in their own ranks, and they are dealing with folks who want to work with the israeli authority. because hamas is a fluid organization hamas, they want to maintain truce, and we know hamas is capable of maintaining
a long-term trues, as capable as israel. it does not mean we have to fall in love with hamas. it means we have to deal with the reality that they can win elections. gene: the question to you, elan, and then i will give it over to either of you or the audience. you have said a couple of times that there are legitimate palestinian grievances that should be rearedressed. you elaborate on those grievances that should be specifically redressed? elan: sure. theytioned them because speak to the moral framework that i am bringing. one of the main things that is happening in israel right now is jewish fundamentalists are trying to illegally settle lands.
i think that is wrong. it is a violation of the rule of law, and one of the ways they do this if they basically squat. in english law, squatting is when you take over someone's property and exclude them. they do this, and then they expect the government to come and protect them. i think this is wrong. it essentially steals land that does not belong to the palestinians. the israeli government has removed many of these illegal outposts by force, and i think that is one example where the real wrong done to palestinians right now, living, breathing people now who are suffering, another temple is not only those kinds of squatting situations palestinianon orchards that are carried out, religiousn by fundamentalists choose, and the point of that is to destroy
someone's olive grove or their orchard and basically ruined their farm, thus destroying their property. crimespetrator of those have to be stopped, put in jail, punished to the full extent of the law. one of the things i would say about grievances is that danny mentioned the refugee problem. i think the refugee problem is probably the thorniest one, and it is really collocated to untangle, because part of the problem, which danny has not really brought out, is what led to that initiation of war by neighboring arab states in 1948, and the culpability of that has been invaded over time, and the attempts to resettle those refugees and to reduce the number and compensate them, they were all pushed aside, and refugees that settled in lebanon, for example, are in a situation that is worse than gaza. if you want to place with a wall around it and they cannot bring
in cement, go look at lebanon. that is a real crime, and i've heard nothing about the crimes against palestinians done by arab regimes that refuse to give them any kind of succor or citizenship or even get a job if you are in lebanon. i think there are real grievances. one of the problems with are seven, there times more refugees now than there were at the time of this form, and one of the reasons is the politicized way in which they are defined. you can be a citizen of jordan come up before you settle into jordan, and yet he counted as a refugee. in aou can be a refugee refugee cap, so there is something really wrong in the way that is accounted or, so i think the politicization of that grievance makes it really hard to untangle, and the worst part of the palestinian movement, this is uniform, as opposed to moderate, they hold an absolute wholesale right of return,
basically 6 million people have to come back into israel. there is something really fishy about that. i think you have to agree. that is not a grievance you can easily remedy, because you have to think about what happened in history and figure out the cold ability of both parties, not just israel, which is usually with the one who is painted as a villain here. gene: do you want to comment? major sjursen: so i think it is important that we note that largely the reason there are so many palestinians, seven times as many refugees, it's mostly toward an unnatural high birthrate. is thereot mentioned were plans in place by the israeli military or the nascent israeli military to conduct inhnic cleansing palestine in 1948. toid van buren has admitted it. he has been on the record. i can read quotes.
this was a historical crime. it pales in comparison to the holocaust, and any time people tried to acquaint them, i think they are wrong, but it does not mean there was not truly a grievance there. yes, many of them have become, out of necessity, citizens of jordan, but i would imagine that people who left poland after world war ii, though they become citizens of the united states if they could, would still consider themselves refugees of:. i do not think 6 million people can come into israel. would have to be arbitrated with a symbolic right of return and conversation. it is not possible to remain both democratic and jewish while letting 6 million palestinians in. i recognize that. but you know who has the right of return based on religion? israel. a right of return for any to worldwide. --what i am interested in why does that exist for the
right for palestinians, whose grandparents were killed out of their villages, -- kicked out of the religious, should be so easily dismissed? i think it is a fascinating dichotomy. elan: i am glad you brought that law almost the instant citizenship to juice, i think that is a real problem. i cannot think we can treat that as a principle by which to hold both sides accountable. a lot of countries have that kind of rule, but i think it is a problem. i think it reflects the motivations by establishing israel. a couple of corrections on some of the things you said. benny morris did not think, as far as i read him, of a premeditated plan to cleanse the land. i think on the contrary. it is worth noting other historians, to come apart what happened is there were a lot of people, military contingencies
that led to them fleeing, and the high number of refugees is not exclusively birthrate related, it is unique among the refugees in history, defined as you can be a refugee through your father's bloodline, so if you were born to someone who is a refugee, even if you were not born president where that place happened, you are a refugee. that is not the same standard that yo the u.n. holds. it is a politicized definition of refugees. want to recognize that there are refugees that were invited to come back and recital. that is definitely a fact. i do not think either side should be held to this idea that israel has a right of return, and that is what we should hold, because i think it is a problematic rule. say not think it is easy to
what israel's immigration rules should be, but i do think there are different things in understanding this issue. gene: i know we have people in the audience you have questions. do you guys have any questions you want to ask the other? do you have a question to ask danny? go ahead. any, would you take as the basis for israel's right to exist? major sjursen: that is an interesting point, because one could argue that problematic framing for any state has a right to exist. i think that the historical wrong against the jewish people, which is unique,'s to a certain degree, especially in the atermath of the holocaust, global need an understanding among the state of the post-world war ii world that there was a special situation and bus israel should have a right to his sovereign jewish state, which is why there was a commission, a partition, even though arabs were still a
majority, gave 85% of the land to israel. this is problematic. even though choose only owned -- 7% of property at that time. it made it and accepted global norm by most states that later u.n. to have an israeli state. i choose on my own to accept the israeli right to exist because of the historical wrong done to the jewish people. gene: do you have a question to ask elan, or do you want to -- microphone, please. your sjursen: elan, would please define what you mean by the "defeat of the palestinian movement"? how do you see this proceeding, and how long will it take? it is athink
multigenerational process three it does not happen overnight. it requires a shift that happened after world war ii with germany andime in with japan, and essentially what it requires -- i do not think it requires necessarily a large-scale conflict that is armed and violent, but i think it requires a psychological shift. the abandonment of a goal that is animating the hostility on ha one side. in my analysis, the palestinian movement is animated by a goal making the whole land of israel by palestinians, and that means the river jordan to the mediterranean, and that is a phrase that is commonly used. and i think the achievement of that requires sustained pressure and communicating that violence is not going to pay, the way in which the negotiations, which you are seemingly an advocate for, really encourage. workers model is we
pretended the palestinian doable and they were moderating, and we sat down with them numerous times, israelis and sponsored by the u.s., on the premise that you should seek to everyone. i think that is empirically false. what that led to if they were given the encouragement think that, wow, we spent decades attacking israel, we did not get as far as we wanted, but hey, we just got invited to the diplomatic negotiations, the way we were elevated and given dignity that was never earned. arafat was the premier of international terrorism and violence. i do not think that can be disputed. and here he was celebrated as someone who has given that up. well, has he? has he really? athink that was misconception. what a negotiations led to what the rewarding of that kind of
behavior and a continuation and an abundance of it over time. i think if you reverse that, not --y warning that behavior awarding that behavior, but showing the less yo more you attack, the less likely you are able to achieve that goal. it is a long-term process, and it requires a shifting of the expectation of what is achievable. so do you believe that they can be militarily defeated, the palestinian movement? let me say quickly, because it seems like you are saying palestinians have to wait more multi-generations, it has been three or four generations, but now use a multi-generations to defeat them, so palestinian refugees might have to wait seven or eight generations, but japan got its sovereignty back in 1952, despite pearl harbor, -- was given its sovereignty
back in 1954 and put back into nato, so it only had to go through nine years of to beingtion prior given sovereignty third i wonder if you believe there is a military solution to palestinian resistance. elan: the question is essential to the challenge, and i want to operating on the premise that palestinian's are entitled to a state, and you are challenging me for saying they don't, and that is art of your argument that i am being one-sided. me be explicit. i do not think the right to determination can mean that you are entitled to create your own put yourself into slavery or into domination or authoritarianism. there is no such right. the idea, ihat is
do not think that is right. that is no longer the future they are working to build, then fine. i am all in favor of it. more to justify the pursuance of a momentous step of creating a state, which means you have a monopoly on the use of force of geography in the area, you are actually going to use a state to protect freedom, or you are leading a situation and moving toward a situation with greater freedoms, the essential run as for israel's basis, it is basically -- if palestinians really wanted that, and there was evidence for that, then i would be in favor of that. i would say yes, go ahead, build yourself a state, create it, support it, i am not opposed to the. i am opposed to the palestinians demanding and saying it is all
well and good because enough people voted for it, which is completely wrong. if that is the principal, then yes, but it is not the principal. the only way you can make sense of self-determination for a group of people is they are trying to reach freedom, and that is not what the palestinian movement has been pursuing. we can talk about the situation in which they live in today, but iis really difficult, do not think there is evidence to date, and there is certainly no evidence that they have given what they are trying to do is move to greater freedom. that is my basis of objection. how long they have to wait, they have to decide what kind of society they want to build. japan folded to a great deal of pressure, and germany was defeated. outstandinge are examples in history, because they were so rapid, and the fact that the military came first. what happened in iraq -- i do not believe the surge and that
whole thing of handing him money really is a solution. i think not work, and we saw that with the rise of isis, which is i think a fruit of that attempt to solve i rocked by dealing with everybody. the issue is not how long they have to wait but what is the goal and what is the standard by which you judge it. major sjursen: i do have a comment about that. again, it feels like the palestinians are being held to a different standard than the israelis. who is to determine what the people want except for the people themselves through democracy? i agree democracy is flawed, but after josette, it is the worst solution except for all the -- but as churchill said, it is the wrist solution except for all the others, essentially. it cannot justify the armed struggle of the palestinians, but article 51 of the armed charter recognizes and the protocol to one division to convention
-- a main occupation. argue that because palestinians are still in a state of resistance, a state of insurgency, we have never really seen what a palestinian state would look like. we have only seen the state list of a collaborationist regime that looks like swiss cheese. nothing has been done about the 500,000 jewish-israeli settlers in the west bank. it looks like a piece of swiss cheese, frankly. it is a problem. gene: one more comment and then back to questions. elan: sure. i will make a brief,. -- comment. i have a real objection to the idea that there are two different standards. one is are you living up to or trying to achieve a free as a toolnd democracy
is a subordinate part of what makes a society free, an essential part of it, but it is not what makes something good or right just because people vote for it. is -- the issue that you are raising here, which is you are invoking international laws and the whole regime of armed resistance and so forth, i question that. i am not entirely convinced dashcam 180 countries be wrong? yeah, they can be wrong. the question is -- this is a moral principle. [scattered applause] elan: i would go for their than further than that. i will put all my cards on the table. i am not a fan of the u.n., their so-called customary laws of war, and regarding the
morality extension of conduct of war and have a standards of what they do in the battle field, but i haven't wrote problem with the standards that they pose because they disadvantage those who obey them and empower those who disobey them. there is clearly a problem with that. the idea that we treat u.n. bodies or international wall essentially like a papal pronouncement that it is isentially unquestionable, think is a mistake there you can make the argument that palestinians are trying to resist occupation, and i am sure they hate being under occupation, while being told it is israel's fault. the question is -- what is life occupation? i am sure no one in this room would choose to live under occupation, but did you know -- and this is relevant, i am sure it has them up in your reading of it -- it has come up and you're reading of it -- however bad you think it is, the material life is better 20 years
into the occupation than it was. life expectancy, infant mortality, it was 8%, you may say yes, i still hate the israelis, that is fine, but if you are talking about human beings and what they need to live, then you cannot argue that they are not materia materiallyr off under is really occupation, even if they dream of a palestinian state. so the question is -- are they seeking a bette freedom and a better life? [applause] gene: we have a chance to respond. the first question, please, fraser question as a question, if you could. >> i would like to thank major danny for his service. hopefully the dual citizenship
works well for you. i cannot believe i am old enough to be both of your grandfathers. >> do you have a question, grandpa? [laughter] >> i was brought up with the fact that all wars are bankers' wars, and at the same time, i was always taught to follow the money. fact thatne of the yasser arafat however many years ago, over 10 years ago, that he was killed under suspicious circumstances, but his family had good news -- gene: what is your question? >> my question is how do you expect to end the conversation that exists right now, especially with the arabs and the palestinians that i do not know where the palestinians came from? gene: what is your question? >> my question is how to you in
the conflict right now, what is behind the conflict, and something that we can really put our fingers on. gene: i think both of you guys have tried to address that question throughout your remarks, but do you have anything in particular to say in regards to that question? elan: elan: the plo, of which arafat was the leader, they are much more of the model of the secular arab dictator who not only dominates his people but also exploits them economically. there is a documented graph of racketeering under the palestinian authority. , one of the ways in which it has gained support and credibility is it is seen as uncorrectable percent -- un
corruptable precisely because it is religious. ney fromits mo religious ties. hamas does get outside funding. the plo is much more in the model of exploiting its people economically. hamas makes a point of not doing that explicitly because that is part of its prestige. major sjursen: i don't think the conflict will end anytime soon. i don't think there will be a military defeat. my opponent gives talking about how the only time you have a right to a state is if it is in the favor of freedom. freedom, i think it is an excellent word. for thedo not have palestinians is any freedom to form their sovereign state. they have never had that at any point. jordan is not the same as palestinians. gene: excuse me, do you want to ask a question?
major sjursen: that's rude and anti-intellectual. that the economy of the occupied territories improved very rapidly, especially in the 1970's, but this is only tying the palestinian economy to israel's whims. one major economic report noted that the growth witnessed in the territories is fundamentally not sustainable and ending the occupation is the prerequisite for transforming the territory's economic potential into reality. gene: do you want to make another comment? elan: in my book what i argue is that the palestinians have not had the full expression of a state of sovereignty. that's true, i agree with that. to the extent they have achieved some measure of self-rule, some degree of self governance, you can see that in several places. the palestinian authority is the most recent, 1994 to the
present. the gaza strip, from which israel withdrew every less person, and you can see it as set up bases plo on the border with jordan and when it later set up bases within the palestinian refugee camps in lebanon. and on those cases there is, now it is in terms of the way they governed, which is authoritarian. they have the practices of full control and arbitrary courts, the kind of thing you do not want to see. the scuffle expression -- this got for expression under the expression -- full under the palestinian authority. , thatwhat you are saying you want the palestinians to have the room to create the kind of state that you think they should have. what is the evidence for thinking it would be anything better than and in fact not worse than what we see in the palestinian authority today?
where do you see the evidence for that? major sjursen: of course. what's really important is we do not have the evidence for that. there has been no sovereignty for the palestinians. palestinians have as much sovereignty as their masters give them. their masters are the ones with the american weapons and with the american money. they cannot militarily defeat israel but israel cannot militarily defeat them. we do not know what real palestinian sovereignty would look like because it has not existed since 1948. gene: we have questions from the audience. please ask a question. >> my question is to elan. you based a lot of your argument about defeating the movement in the fact that hamas wants to eliminate israel. that's what you said. in american law if someone wants to kill me it does not give me
the right to kill a person. why do you think americans should support that defeat? elan: what we are dealing with is a situation not governed by american law. the principle is not the right -- is not that you have the right to kill the person who wants to kill you, you have the right to kill the person attacking you. to understand what the palestinian movement has been doing since it can to the four, a sustained campaign overtime. they have shown with their numerous attacks that that is what they are after. two essentially psychologically destroy israel but terrorizing it is the goal. of my argument is that israel has a right to self-defense. because this is a long-standing war, i think the way out of this
conflict is if you give them to believe -- get them to believe through action that their goals are achievable, and you can do achievable, and you can do that. the idea that that is a fantasy is ignoring the fact that we have seen this in other contexts. world war ii ended not because azis,,otiated with the n we defeated them in the japanese -- and japanese. obama said he does not like to use the word the three. i agree that iraq -- victory. i agree that iraq is a no-win war. that's what i said. i have been arguing about the failure of american form policy in the middle east for a long time. major sjursen: i can assure you
that i thought to win -- fought to win. the reality is there was no victory over the iraqi people so long as we tried to create the country in our own image. we are violated iraqi sovereignty -- we violated iraqi sovereignty. world war ii ended, but it was a conventional war declared between powers. everyone of those countries involved in world war ii that held colonies lost those colonies too much less technologically advanced militaries, because national movements do not easily that. gene: next -- die. gene: . -- next question. >> i challenge your understanding -- gene: who is you? .> to elan i challenge your understanding of the palestinian authority. i have been there a lot and studied a lot.
s and not like the nazi like the japanese and it does not have to be defeated in the same way. without a two state solution, you have two choices. you have basically what is close to apartheid, or you have the single entity, which would mean there would be no jewish state, and -- so there is really no other solution that is at all satisfactory to people who either believe in an idea of a jewish state and want one or who believe in democracy and do not vival of the evil we have already seen in south africa and other places. elan: it is rather than to think about what it means for this test for there to be an end to this conflict. i think you have to start with, what is a driving the conflict and how do you end it?
what happens then? shouldnd of society there be once the palestinian movement is no longer seeking to liquidate its opponent, israel. those are real hard questions. i agree, we certainly do not want an entire population denied citizenship. the israelis certainly will not accept being a minority. i think they are fearful of that and i think for a number of good historical reasons they are fearful of being the minority in their own country. i do not think that is an easy problem to solve. i think it is a mistake to turn that around and say the obvious solution is there are going to have to be two states. i do not think that is obvious or the week to begin. why has this been going on for so long? what is driving it? when of the ideas going on here -- what are the ideas going on here and then what is the principle that should govern? what can we expect from a palestinian state?
i don't think it is true that we do not know. i think we have a lot of empirical evidence about the ideas that the palestinian movement means in practice and i think it's also telling if you look at the scholarship of a palestinian scholar, a columbia -- at columbia, he wrote a book about why the palestinian movement has failed in its attempt at state building. one of the things that struck me when reading this is that he passing, they have given so little thought to what it would look like to achieve a state that it is alarming. to me, that is not only alarming, but suspicious. if you spent decades yearning for sovereignty, what you give it a lot more thought -- wouldn't you give it a lot more thought about what that looks like? this is not a sincere effort at righting wrongs or serving a palestinian people, some who have suffered severely.
i think there are a lot of things to solve once you get past moving the obstacle in the road. some of those are really hard things to solve. i think you hit on one of those. gene: one comment -- want to comment, danny? unfortunately, we have time for only one final question before we go to the summations. >> this is more of a philosophical question to both of you. i am unclear whether the arguments are deontological or consequentialist. , you made a moral presumption that freedom is somehow tied to democracy, individuality, and secularism, and therefore have rigged the debate for the site of israel. on the side of danny, it is unclear if you are arguing for the feasibility or desirability. your arguments have been for the desirability of collaborating with the movement, but you have
not really demonstrated the feasibility. it isestion is, what if impossible to both have a jewish state and to collaborate with them? would you then take a deontological position and say we still have to collaborate, or than a consequentialist one and say we have to do something else? major sjursen: i think a palestinian state is desirable. it is not currently feasible, so long as there are jewish only roads, jewish only settlements, 500,000 israelis in the west bank, gaza shut off from both the cm and -- both the sea and land. stands yes, it is as it relatively infeasible for there to be a palestinian state, but largely i would argue that is -- of israeli policy and self-defeating violence.
aspectsques rightfully of the plo, aspects of the palestinian authority. what must be remembered is he is one of the preeminent historians in favor of palestinian nationalism, in favor of a palestinian sovereign entity. i think in its current state, it is not feasible, but through honest negotiations, a removal --occupation, and removal of it is feasible? gene: one more question and you can take the podium. -- military occupation. -- occupation, it is feasible. gene: one more question and you can take the podium. elan: i am an atheist and individualist. i am an advocate of liberty.
i believe the principle of freedom has to be the framework by which to understand claims in this conflict and the character of the adversaries. i do not accept that we have no basis for thinking that a palestinian -- what a palestinian state would look like. i think we have a great deal of evidence to know what to expect. i think it is the responsibility of anyone advocating for that as favor ofe, anyone in the palestinian state in the present to make the case that it would be a moral state, meaning it would be -- it would protect the lives and freedom of palestinians and do so more so than ever in the past. i do not think anyone has put forward that basis, that evidence, and i think it is a dodge. unfortunately, i think there is a great deal of evidence that is dodging to say we do not know what it would look like. it is a problem that we do not know what it would look like. there has been a enough
development and political thought over the last 200 years for people to pick up the federalist papers, the constitution, and learn something from it. this is the sort of thing we are thinking of doing. what do you think of that? just to say we are a group that deserves a state and you are not letting us have it and we are going to rage against that, that is not an argument that deserves credibility. that there are many more historical issues that have been raised that did not -- which i did not get a chance to enter, and claims which my opponent raised that i did not get a chance to answer. stressue that i want to is that the palestinian movement does exist, it is a real thing. they think of themselves as a movement, even if the opponent tonight says that i am simplifying it.
that you can track overtime. maybe it is -- there is a progression that you can track overtime. the goal of a state in place of israel and that state -- what defines that state is some sort of authoritarian or ought to credit -- autocratic type model of which we see plenty in the east. and is unity in this movement, even if the justifications for it overtime went from arab nationalism, palestinian nationalism, and now more friend inislam's terms -- framed islamist terms. i have not made the case that israel is blameless or that it but it is a saints, certainly not the view i opened with an certainly not my view and certainly not the view you will find in my book. i castigate israel for many of its flaws and there are more we
can talk about. i think it is a mistake to present the major obstacle being israel, even if it is not being entirely fair here and has committed wrongs. overtime, the pattern is that israel is responding to aggression. there is significant reason to believe that it is seeking to do significant damage to life and property. in response to that, i think it has been justified in retaliating against them. that,is gooing beyond it is wrong. -- ink what is missing is think the silence was partially broken tonight, but not completely. to judge a movement not only by its ideas and charter and founding documents, but also by its actions. i agree with that. i think that the issue here
tonight is, the palestinian movement has been true to its ideas, and we have to take seriously what those ideas are. pretending that they are not there or trying to whitewash them or say, let's just bite our tongue best buy to our -- bite our tongue, i think that misses the point. it is significant the palestinian issue has become not islamilam is sized -- zed, but that it is aligned with other forces in the region. nowggest the conflict is really, it is dark in terms of the ideas. do you believe it is better to have a free society or do you believe in tyranny, whether it is nationalist or bureaucratic?
craddick --- the that's me is the question -- that to me is the question. [applause] major sjursen: why am i here tonight taking the position of in favor of a palestinian state? one would think i would take the position of many of my less educated soldiers, which was to hate islam, 28 arabs, in the case of -- to hate arabs, in the case of iraq. i came to respect the vast majority of people in the middle east and realized there were both strategic and ethical reasons to care for both sides in this conflict. i have hoped to illustrate not a pro-palestinian position tonight, but a middle road, one
that recognizes the strength of israeli democracy at times and also recognizes the plight of the palestinians. i do think you have heard another approach that is rather biased, that lambastes the notion that palestinians have grievances, or right to self-defense. my third assertion that is really policy must carry some blame for the intractability of the conflict. israel is not alone in caring some of that blame. additionally, the united states must recognize its own complicity in hindering peace. plots in theor west will not meaningfully decrease until washington begins to at least address the roots of the problem and rebalance its one-sided relationship with israel. it's the right thing to do. second, it's a payment away from these more on hinch policies -- moron hinged policies.
an interpreter is your tonight. we heard here. --we heard here falls earfuls about is really policy policy.eli c these people care about average palestinians. even a former cia director recognized this back in 2010 when he said u.s. favoritism towards israel endangers his troops. he was predictably lambasted by certain lobbying groups, but that did not make him wrong. if you want to generally protect the homeland, the troops, the israeli troops from violence, insist both washington and israel demonstrate some sense of equity and justice in israel
palestine. that is what is missing from the other argument tonight. compromise is the only way to peace. it was the case in northern ireland, it was the case in almost every anti-colonial movement. for compromise requires personal humility and self-awareness from both sides. the palestinian movement must swear off counterproductive and despicable terror attacks on civilians and israel must measure its own violent attacks with a required degree of proportionality. groups, hamasab included, must accept the existence of israel and a two state solution. notice how it recognizes the guilt and responsibilities of both sides. it recognizes the notion of sovereignty for both sides.
my opponent love the state of israel. it honestly bleeds through. it's an admirable quality in his every word, but he is missing the fact that just liking israel's democracy more than the secular arab or james or the -- arab ariba james regimesor islamist arab does not mean -- i am done with such fanciful make-believe. israel can no more defeat the palestinian movement than the american military can win any sort of victory in iraq or afghanistan. whatever your personal beliefs, loyalties, or inclinations, i asked you show the rationality and intellectual honesty to vote in the negative and reject this resolution.
it merely recognizes there are two sides in this tale, that there just may be a middle path to peace that involves a two state solution. reject this resolution because you have had sent hearts and you know there is no other rational hearts and youd know there is no other rational way. thank you. [applause] gene: thank you to you both and we are now going to do the final voting. elan is going to be signing books afterwards. he will be at that table and he can chat with you. danny, will you please stick around as well? a lot of people will want to check. -- chat. next month we are going to be debating the issue of climate change. i hope you can make it. in august we're going to be debating bitcoin once again.
that event has had -- the previous debate on bitcoin has 450,000 views on youtube and was sold out weeks in advance. you may want to buy tickets to that event in august. i am going to be once again debating socialism in november against a this time somebody who is sort of my own size, an emeritus professor named richard wolf from the university of massachusetts debating the broader issue of socialism. that will probably not be at this hall. with probably hopefully get a lot of socialists to show up. we sold in the 500 tickets to the last socialist debate i held. -- nearly 500 tickets to the last socialist debate i held.
he has preferred to go the intellectual route and i am not surprised that he did that. where do we stand on the voting? >> one more minute. gene: one more minute on the voting. i want to thank my wife, who catered this affair, and thank c-span. c-span has don't this test has filmed this -- has filmed this. [applause] c-span. also be on it will also be shown on video by reason and available on our website. in may when one to be debating vegetarianism -- we are going to be debating vegetarianism, so a may versusight in the rather tame debate we had this evening. and again, i do want to -- we were a little bit nervous about the import of this debate. i want to commend you all and
commend our speakers, our debaters, especially on the civility they showed for each other. [applause] guys shake hands? gene: yes, well, they will, they will. if you guys just want to shake hands. ok, ok. ok, the voting went this way. the yes vote for the resolution was 27.2%. the yes vote picked up nine points, went to 36%. that nine points was the figure to beat. he no vote one from 32% to 50%, so the no vote when the two wins the tootsie
roll, so congratulations to you both. [applause] >> coming up today on c-span, "washington journal," then at 10:00, interviews with new members of the house of representatives. at 10:50 general joseph dunford talks about u.s. military priorities. later a senate armed services hearing with after china and. -- patrick shanahan. ♪ tv was simply three giant networks and a government supported service called pbs, then in 1979 a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea, let viewers decide all on their own what was important to them. c-span opened the door to
washington policymaking for all to see, bringing you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. in the age of power to the people, this was true people power. in the four years since, the landscape has -- 40 years since, the landscape has clearly changed. c-span's big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money supports c-span. it was founded as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. ♪ someone from syracuse university's institute for veteran and military families talks about job opportunities for families. at 9:00, our spotlight on magazines looking at agriculture and rural america.